Controversy around borders and building walls from a country to another are rapidly increasing but the global information is unstoppable.
Today everyone has instantaneous access to document and shares stories and ideas in every part of the world, this increases people cultural curiosity.
The trend, Global Neighborhood, shows how everyone is becoming internationally connected. We have never seen many people, in different corners of the world having so much in common, but never before have the things that divide them been so transparent. Recession in North America can destroy jobs in Asia. Aerosol use in Europe can cause skin cancers in South America. Shocking footage about the slave trade in Libya was rapidly diffused around the net and communities around the world reacted to this, by signing petitions, protesting and striking. People are seeing what is going on on the other side of the world and it matters much more now.
The global neighbourhood we have today has many imperfections and it is not equally balanced. Its residents are not all fairly treated; they do not have the same opportunities. Great transformations do not affect everyone equally but it benefits some and disadvantages others.
Industrial restructuring in the North can reduce poverty in the South, at this same time it can enlarge markets for the North. This shows how many states are still depending on other states, in this case the South need to depend on the north to overcome his poverty and it should not be like this, these two states should have had an equal state in an ideal world. This is just one of the infinite cases in this global neighborhood. Thousands are deprived of so many things that they do not even think they belong to a neighbourhood, this situation does not disprove the exposure of a neighbourhood, rather it poses a challenge to reduce alienation among neighbours.
Another main issue regarding global neighbourhood is ‘security’ which is addressed to global issues. Everyone on this planet should feel safe and protected, an expansion of global security that protects everybody not only individual states is needed. This would include banning nuclear, weapons and peacekeeping.
The world itself is becoming a neighbourhood which means that the nations, states and countries are no longer relevant. Everyone should work on how to make the world a satisfactory home for all its citizens. Global neighbourhood is about embracing this state of flux and our collective cultural identities will be less about where we are and more about what we believe in based on our connections.
Many young ones see their cultural identity as complex and flexible. For example, in his magazine “NiiJournal” the photographer Campbell Addy talks about his identity as a gay, British, Ghanaian man and he says: “In the UK I’m not British but ‘Black British’ and in Ghana I am British, not African. So who am I?.
There’s an interesting quote which states: “We can no longer make assumptions about what it means to be from a specific place” and it’s true, here’s another living example. A teenager in Ohio gets his inspiration from YouTubers in Mexico, he listens to London Grime on Spotify and follows funny Snapchatters in Brazil! This also confirms how we are globally influenced through the internet, we are sharing more social media than ever before.
Global neighbourhood is also affecting brands in a positive way, they are re-examining their approach to the world and they are involving these new spaces even more. The Tate Modern used the Switch House to put a greater focus on international artists not typically showcased on the global art stage and the slogan was “Art changes, We change”. The Lagos – based fashion label, Orange Culture, combines Nigerian fabrics and colours with urban western silhouettes.
The circulation of information around the world is having an effect on society and pushing people to change the way they see themselves. According to Mark Zuckerberg ‘The more we connect, the better it gets’. He is planning to open up the web to the two-thirds of the world’s population which is not yet online. His statement is majorly true, to be connected with the rest of the world from home allows people to see different things from other parts and if you want to know more about a different culture you don’t necessarily have to fly all the way to the place because someone there is already documenting and sending the information for free. However, states, as well as people have to change their ways of managing their affairs, they need to develop new approaches for the global neighbourhood in the interests of all.
Technology has been another major influence for this trend, by compressing distance and time, had made the world smaller. For example photographs and equipment which allows us to see what is going on in the space, outside this planet earth.
Global Ethic and leadership are two important factors for the global neighborhood to succeed, without them, frictions and tensions will multiply and strategies will fail.
To be global neighbours everyone needs to adapt new ways of living and viewing each other, as Barbara Ward wrote:
“The most important change that people can make is to change their way of looking at the world. We can change studies, jobs, neighbourhoods, even countries and continents and still remain much as we always were. But change our fundamental angle of vision and everything changes–our priorities, our values, our judgments, our pursuits. Again and again, in the history of religion, this total upheaval in the imagination has marked the beginning of a new life….a turning of the heart, a ‘metanoia,’ by which men see with new eyes and understand with new minds and turn their energies to new ways of living”.
Many people around the world, mostly the younger generation, willingly respond to this issues much more than their governments. Shared values can help people to see beyond clashes and act for a larger and mutual interest.
As impossible as it may sound, all humanity can sustain the basics values of respect for equality, justice, mutual respect and life. This could transform this global neighborhood based on economic exchange into a universal moral community where people are connected by interests or identity and everyone treats others as they would like to treat themselves.